Schools will get more money, Ohioans will pay less in taxes and more people could get back to work if the Ohio Senate’s budget proposal passes and is signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.
The Senate wants to cut Ohio income taxes by 5% while increasing money to schools, veterans services and Medicaid and removing regulations and taxes on employers and child care providers. Leaders unveiled their balanced budget Tuesday during a news conference. Hearings will begin Wednesday.
“It is a stimulus by letting people who are working keep more money,” Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said. “An income tax cut will always be the best stimulus. We want to make sure we are rewarding as much as possible the people who are going to work every day.”
Senate Democrats took to Twitter to promote the idea of wage increases and challenge the idea jobs are open because people just don’t want to work.
“1st Covid. People are still worried about their health and the health of their families. 2nd, maybe they don’t want to risk their health for wages that still keep them in poverty. An income tax cut that’ll give them $20 or $40 a year is a pitiful ‘incentivize,’ ” Sen. Cecil Thomas, D-Avondale, tweeted. “Give people a *living wage* that will raise them out of poverty and they’ll work. Period.”
Along with the tax cut, which the House proposed at 2%, the Senate wants to eliminate sales taxes on businesses and agencies that provide services to help people return to work. The Senate proposal also ends a child care rating system that leaders say reduces the number of facilities available to care for children from families on public assistance.
“What we are trying to do here is reward employers who are going to hire people and let people who are going back to work keep more of their money, but even if you do that, if you don’t have people to keep your child it creates issues,” Huffman said. “One thing this government mandate does is put low-income child care providers out of business. That mandate needs to end.”
The Senate wants to increase those eligible for child care assistance to 142% of the federal poverty level, which is higher than DeWine’s budget proposal and the House’s plan.
Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, said cuts to government bureaucracy and the elimination of dedicated money for broadband expansion in the House’s budget help offset spending increases.
The budget proposal also includes CARES Act investment into small businesses that continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, along with funding for therapy programs for veterans suffering from PTSD and another $740,000 for veterans groups across the state.
An additional $20 million would go to Ohio’s H2Ohio program for water quality, and Medicaid coverage for new mothers would go from 60 days to one year.
The Senate’s school funding plan moves away from the one the House passed earlier this year. Dolan called it fair, balanced and rational. It also puts state money with students enrolled in charter schools or outside the district, rather than sending checks to home districts who have the responsibility of moving it to other schools.
Dolan said it would mean nearly $76 million more for education in the upcoming fiscal year, increasing again in the next year.
“This is a budget for the Ohio resident. The individual Ohioan will benefit,” Dolan said.
This article was originally posted on Ohio Senate proposes 5% income tax cut